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Titans Impressive During Exhibition Loss To Division I Badgers

Brett Wittchow scored 12 points and tallied two steals against the Division 1 Badgers.
Brett Wittchow scored 12 points and tallied two steals against the Division 1 Badgers.

UW-Oshkosh's Adam Fravert led all players with 20 points and three blocks as the reigning NCAA Division III runner-up Titans fell, 82-70, during an exhibition contest against Division I member University of Wisconsin on Friday (Nov. 2) at the Kohl Center in Madison.

After trailing the Badgers, 47-28, at intermission, the Titans outscored University of Wisconsin by seven points in the second half. UW-Oshkosh's 70 points are the most by a WIAC team in an exhibition game against University of Wisconsin since 2005. The 12-point margin was also the Badgers' narrowest exhibition victory over a WIAC program in that span.

UW-Oshkosh, ranked second in the Division III by D3hoops.com, owned first-half leads for more than three total minutes until University of Wisconsin took the lead for good at 16-14 following a layup by Badgers preseason All-American Ethan Happ with 10:46 remaining before halftime.

UW-Oshkosh had four double-digit scorers, including David Vlotho with 17 points, Brett Wittchow with 12 and Ben Boots with 10. Vlotho shot 7 of 11 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc, and pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds. Wittchow tallied all of his points during the first half.

Fravert shot 7-for-14 from the field, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range, and grabbed six rebounds.

Jack Flynn chipped in four points, six rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot for the Titans.

University of Wisconsin concluded the game shooting 46.2 percent (30-65) from the field, 25 percent (4-16) from 3-point range and 66.7 percent (18-27) at the free throw line. The Badgers owned advantages of 43-33 in rebounds, 17-10 in assists, 13-8 in turnovers, 9-3 in steals and 7-6 in blocks.

UW-Oshkosh shot 40 percent (26-65) from the floor, 27.6 percent (8-29) from behind the 3-point line and 100 percent (10-10) at the foul line.

Brad Davison led the Badgers with 16 points while Happ and Khalil Iverson added 13 apiece, and Nate Ruevers 11. D'Mitrik Trice rounded out the University of Wisconsin starting lineup with nine points and a team-leading four assists.

Brevin Pritzl contributed four points and a team-leading seven rebounds off the University of Wisconsin bench, which also received nine points from Kobe King.

The Titans held leads of 3-2 on a Boots 3-pointer, 5-4 after a layup by Wittchow and 9-8 following a Vlotho layup at the 16:25 mark of the opening half. UW-Oshkosh then scored five consecutive points in the span of 27 seconds to pull even at 14 on a jumper from Vlotho and a 3-pointer by Wittchow.

University of Wisconsin responded with six straight points of its own – all by Happ – to reclaim the lead for good at 20-14. The Badgers extended their advantage to 32-18 with a 10-point run that featured four points apiece from Iverson and Ruevers.

UW-Oshkosh pulled within 22-18 following a drive to the basket by Wittchow at the 7:54 mark of the first half, but University of Wisconsin scored 10 unanswered points, including eight combined by Iverson and Ruevers, during a stretch of less than three minutes. The Badgers maintained a lead of at least 10 points after Iverson notched a steal, and Trice cashed in the turnover with a layup for a 28-18 lead with 6:23 left in the first half.

University of Wisconsin held its largest lead of 27 points at 57-30 following an offensive rebound and layup by Happ with 16:44 to play. Trailing 74-50 with six minutes left, UW-Oshkosh closed the contest with a 20-8 scoring run that was highlighted by seven points from Fravert in a span of 1:43, a 3-pointer by Vlotho and a three-point play from Declan O'Connor.

The Titans were playing the Badgers in an exhibition game for the second time in six years. University of Wisconsin also defeated UW-Oshkosh by a 96-44 score on Nov. 7, 2012, in Madison.

UW-Oshkosh, which has appeared in each of the past three Division III postseason tournaments, begins the 2018-19 regular season against Piedmont College (Ga.) on Nov. 16 in Wheaton, Ill.

Photo by Steve Frommell